State Update

November 2014 Proposed Ballot Measures to Watch

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The November 2014 elections are quickly approaching and two states already have proposed ballot initiatives which are of interest to the dental education community.

Colorado

A proposed ballot initiative to remove fluoride from the public water system in Colorado has been under discussion. Specifically, the proposed ballot initiative as originally drafted read:

“Be it enacted by the people of the State of Colorado: There shall not be the artificial introduction of fluoride or fluoride by-products into any Colorado public water system.”

The draft language went through revisions before the final text for proposed initiative #125 was approved. However, on August 4, the proponents failed to gather the 86,105 valid signatures required for the proposed measure to appear on the November ballot. According to senior staff from the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, the proponents may bring a similar measure forward again, but not until 2016 as non-fiscal ballot measures can only be brought during even years. 

New Jersey

A New Jersey Prohibition of Healthcare Coverage Mandates Amendment could appear on the November 2014 ballot in New Jersey as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, if approved, would prohibit state or federal law or regulation from compelling a person to obtain, provide or participate in healthcare coverage. Two legislatively-referred constitutional amendments have been proposed for consideration in the 2014 legislative session, A.C.R. 14 and S.C.R. 59. 

In New Jersey, proposed constitutional amendments have two ways of achieving ballot access. The New Jersey Legislature can either qualify it with supermajority approval of 60% in one legislative session or with simple majorities in two successive sessions. 

A.C.R. 14 was introduced on January 16, 2014, and has been referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee for further consideration. S.C.R. 59 was introduced on February 25, 2014, and has been referred to the Senate Commerce Committee for further consideration.